Jazz icon Schilder mourned by many

Mu­si­cal trib­utes mark jazz leg­end’s fu­neral

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LEILA SAMODIEN

FAM­ILY and friends bid a fi­nal farewell to lo­cal jazz leg­end Tony Schilder yes­ter­day, with some Cape mu­si­cians pay­ing mu­si­cal trib­utes.

Schilder’s fu­neral ser­vice was held at St Ge­orge’s Cathe­dral.

His death fol­lowed that of a num­ber of lo­cal mu­si­cians, in­clud­ing Vin­cent Kolbe, Hotep Idris Galeta, Rob­bie Jansen and Ezra Ngcukana.

Schilder – known as “the gen­tle­man of jazz” – died aged 73 af­ter a long ill­ness.

He was a band leader at Club Mon­treal in Ma­nen­berg, had re­leased his own al­bums (his lat­est, B Pos­i­tive, in 2007) and con­trib­uted to many com­pi­la­tions.

Mu­si­cians Sophia Fos­ter, Ian Smith, Richard Cae­sar and his son Hil­ton Schilder all paid mu­si­cal trib­ute to Schilder at the ser­vice.

“Here’s to life, and all the joy it brings. Here’s to life; to the dream­ers and their dreams,” sang Fos­ter, whose voice rang through the church acapella.

Smith, who played one of Schilder’s melodies on the trum­pet, said Schilder’s legacy would live on through his mu­sic and the hap­pi­ness he brought to peo­ple.

“… His mu­sic stands the test of time,” said Smith.

Dave Al­ston, who played drums in a trio with Schilder in the 1950s, re­mem­bered his sense of hu­mour – even in the face of the in­dig­ni­ties of apartheid – and his nat­u­ral gift for mu­sic.

He played by ear, and once told Al­ston: “If I ever played a num­ber, I’d never for­get it.”

Al­ston said even US mu­sic icon Quincy Jones had praised Schilder when they met at Sun City years ago.

“He signed an al­bum for Tony that read: ‘Thank you for your artistry and great taste. In unity, Quincy’.”

He said the mu­sic scene in South Africa was “much poorer for (Schilder’s) pass­ing”.

Schilder’s son Hil­ton played a two-part tune in hon­our of his fa­ther.

Singer Cae­sar said there was not a jazz mu­si­cian in Cape Town who had not been in­flu­enced by Schilder.

“I can’t even be­gin to tell you how this man has in­flu­enced my life mu­si­cally, and in a lot of dif­fer­ent ways,” he said.

“He was a walk­ing ar­chive of jazz.”

Schilder leaves his wife, Val.


SAY­ING GOOD­BYE: Pall­bear­ers es­cort the body of jazz mu­si­cian Tony Schilder into the fu­neral ser­vice which took place at St Ge­orge’s Cathe­dral yes­ter­day.

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